A tattooist for 12 years, Filip Fabian creates beautiful watercolour tattoos at Black & Blue Tattoo in San Francisco. We chatted to Filip about the inspiration behind his abstract pieces..

I grew up inspired by artists such as Rothko or Pollock. I studied art and drawing but I also got inspired by all of the great people I’ve met along the way. I also find a lot of inspiration in nature, every walk through the Golden Gate Park brings me a ton of inspiration. I often come home with ideas for new designs of the birds or flowers that grow there.

I love to tattoo nature and animals. My clients inspires me the most. I love to use geometry, brushes and textures in my work. And of course a wild palette of colours.

My cousin had his own tattoo studio in my hometown. I saw him working, and got immediately attracted to the whole process. Tattooing seemed magical to me. Then I ordered my first machine for $20 from eBay, did my first piece on my own knee, and never put the tattoo machine away since (I now have different ones, the eBay one actually fell apart when I was doing that first piece!)

I sometimes freehand my pieces, but I mostly spend a lot of time with each design prior to the tattoo day. After I meet a client for a consultation I take all of the references I have, all the thoughts and memories they express. These inspire me, and I combine that with my own touch.

I always try to include the personality of the person who I am tattooing into the piece, and the mood the piece is supposed to have. That’s why I don’t like realism that much. I find abstract designs more capable of expressing the mood and the fluctuate nature of life.

I hope that I get to see my tattoos and art on all of my clients’ bodies all over the world. That is my favourite gallery. You do not need an entrance, you just see it it while you casually go through your day.

Be sure to follow Filip on Instagram for more nature inspired tattoos.

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